Well, we all heard about Brenda Spencer, didn’t we? We all did A-Level Psychology and learnt about what she did to her school, because of her dislike of Mondays? Well, here’s what Boomtown Rats thought.
Now, we all know that Bob Geldof was in Boomtown Rats and that he had a big hand in the writing of this song, and, indeed, is heavily featured in the video, if I remember correctly.
It is about Brenda Spencer’s shooting up of her school, plus the resulting deaths, the number of which I have since forgotten. She killed people, and Geldof wrote a song about it. Here’s the song.
What do In think? Well, the music is simple. It’s piano, clapping and, unless I’m missing something, that’s pretty much it. Thinking about it, I think there’s a dab of violin in there, but who knows, right? There’s emphasis in all the right places, quiet sections exactly where they’re needed, and, it all just stops, perfectly, where it should.
Lyrically, it’s quite an interesting one. From what I understand, it’s a retrospective analysis of what happened, why she did it and the results of her actions, with a few tasteless comments in there – “The lesson today is how to die” – for example.
But despite this, it’s a good song. There’s definitely a sense of awesomeness emanating from it and who am I to criticize it for a few risqué comments? I’m a frickin’ reviewer. That’s who. I’m choosing not to though. I don’t want to criticize it. Not for that.
I want to criticize it for existing. I believe there’s a fine line between what is right and what is wrong in music, film and tv. It’s hard to start on the right side of the line, yet be controversial and popular. In fact, it’s damn near impossible. For me, doing a song about a shooting is a bit… over the line. It’s not like you’d do a song about the McCanns, or the Dowlers, or even Oscar Pestorius’ girlfriend. You just don’t do it because it’s a bad idea. I bet you could too. Here, let me try.
She sat on the toilet,
Went for a poo,
BANG BANG, BANG BANG,
What did he do?
It’s not great, but I wrote that in 20 seconds. Starting to realise where the line is yet? Good.
I still like the song though, so, although it’ll lose marks for existing, it’ll still score high.